The obsessions take over the 2020/21 season of the Gran Teatre del Liceu

Lessons in Love and Violence, La bohème, Lucia di Lammermoor, Otello, La traviata, Tannhäuser, Les contes d’Hoffmann and Il trovatore are part of the ambitious proposal 2020- 2021 of the Gran Teatre del Liceu.



The events we are experiencing as a society are affecting all industries, including the Gran Teatre del Liceu, as well as the cultural sector in general, altering our usual activity. However, thewill and obsession Liceu’s will continue to be to offer live shows and continue to excite the public from their seats.


This obsession, which perfectly defines the history of overcoming the Gran Teatre del Liceu, is precisely the backbone of the new 2020/21 season. All the titles, some characters and the different artistic proposals will invite you to reflect on the human condition, its concerns, longings and anxieties on a magnificent occasion to vibrate with the emotion of the shows. A promenade for obsession, condensing numerous references and ancient myths that will help us shed light on some figures from the real world and also on characters from our small world theater. Víctor Garcia de Gomar, artistic director of the Liceu, thus opens “a window connected to passions, to the pleasure of observing other ways of existing and looking for a mirror on which to project who we really are”. An exercise that recounts a new season that arouses the curiosity of a diverse audience and rethinks what is happening inside the stage box of the Teatre. An ambitious proposal, with a vocation to become a center of the arts, in which opera, dance, symphonic music and complementary activities, supported by this main subject, give a sense of internal coherence.



The Liceu will continue to honor its fame for the theater of great voices and will invite, this season, some of the most acclaimed names on the current operatic scene, including Anna Netrebko, Sondra Radvanovsky , Piotr Beczala, Javier Camarena, Nadine Sierra, Ermonela Jaho, Gregory Kunde, Carlos Álvarez, Miah Persson, Kristina Mkhitaryan, John Osborn, Stéphanie d’Oustrac, Alexander Vinogradov, Stéphane Degout, Krassimira Stoyanova, Stefan Vinke, Johanni Van Oostrum, Anita Hartig, Okka von der Damerau or Christopher Maltman, among others. The 2020/21 season will also receive some of the most acclaimed directors of the moment, such as Christof Loy, Laurent Pelly, Robert Carsen, David McVicar or Àlex Ollé, and the most international batons, among which are Josep Pons, Marc Minkowski, Giacomo Sagripanti, Speranza Scappucci, William Christie, Jordi Savall or David Afkham, among others.


The Liceu presents an unbeatable start to the season, a gradual andreturn growing: thus, two of the most internationally acclaimed and beloved voices by the Liceu public, the soprano Sondra Radvanovsky and the tenor Piotr Beczala, will perform in a magnificent recital that it will fill the theater with sound and energy. His performances at the Liceu, together or separately, have become memorable nights, pages that will hardly be forgotten. It is the occasion to meet two charismatic and generous artists who will star in the initial spark of a very special season. Another poker of aces will take over, such as Anna Netrebko, Yusif Eyvazov, Ludovic Tézier and Okka von der Damerau, who will star Il trovatore in Verdi’s in concert version, one of the peaks of his repertoire and a drama with great psychological depth, and a Radiant and expansive music that overflows imagination. The staged opera opening will take place with attractive production of Oper Frankfurt Don Giovanni’s Mozart’s signed by Christof Loy and directed by Josep Pons. An opera situated between tragedy and comedy that emphasizes the interior of the characters and in which Don Giovanni begins an obsessive 24-hour hunt. Christopher Maltman (Don Giovanni), Miah Persson (Donna Anna), Véronique Gens (Donna Elvira) and Luca Pisaroni (Leporello) star in this universal myth that presents us with a desperate and lonely antihero who fascinates us with his psychological complexity as a sexual predator. The Mozartian orchestra and the characteristics of the production allow this first staged opera to be performed with all the guarantees.



The long-awaited new production of the Theater for the new season arrives, the staged opera by the composer George Benjamin with Martin Crimp, Lessons in Love and Violence, a co-production announced in 2017 with the Royal Opera House, the Royal Theater of Madrid , the Dutch National Opera in Amsterdam, the Staatsoper in Hamburg, the Opéra de Lyon and the Lyric Opera of Chicago. A highly anticipated premiere at the Liceu, after the success of Written on Skin, by the same composer and librettist, which was performed at the Theater, in concert version, in 2016. The staging of Katie Mitchell currently places a work based on in medieval funds that narrates the obsessive relationship between King Edward II and his lover Piers Gaveston. Maestro Josep Pons conducts an extraordinary score with rich orchestrations that perfectly captures the claustrophobic and erotic atmosphere of the drama starring Stéphane Degout as king and Georgia Jarman as Elizabeth. The Liceu hosts the premiere in the State of this opera by Benjamin.



La bohème Puccini’s will also be one of the leading operas this season, the result of work with the resident artist of the Gran Teatre del Liceu, Àlex Ollé, for the next four years. Ollé, artist internationally recognized for his successful career, started with La Fura dels Baus, has evolved in the world of opera with great proposals that have been seen around the world. Recently, the Liceu has hosted such hits as Quartett Luca Francesconi’s and impressive Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde , with a dial that crowned a majestic staging. The artist’s collaboration with the Theater, in addition to being an advisor, is combined through his participation in each season, which will include two new productions – one of them, Lady Macbeth de Msenk– and two already released operas, which will be the Norma de Bellini of the ROH and this La bohème of current aesthetics of the Teatro Regio di Torino. Àlex Ollé places the story in a marginal neighborhood, where the obsession of the protagonists falls on the memory of the past, a time when everyone was happier. Puccini’s music will be in the hands of Giampaolo Bisanti and the Liceu Symphony Orchestra, where the Theater Choir will also participate, accompanied by the Cor de Cambra of the Palau de la Música Catalana and VEUS – Amics de la Unió Children’s Group. Anita Hartig, Maria Teresa Leva and Adriana González —Mimì—; Atalla Ayan and Giorgio Berrugi —Rodolfo—; and Valentina Nafornita and Katerina Tretyakov – Musetta – will give voice to some of these protagonists, immersed in a life of misery.



The opera season also stands out for new productions never seen at the Liceu, which are signed by major opera houses such as the Bayerische Staatsoper or the Royal Opera House. One of them is Lucia di Lammermoor de Donizetti, with an impossible love embodied by Nadine Sierra —Lucia— and Javier Camarena —Edgardo— under the baton of Giacomo Sagripanti. Ancast that completes Mariusz Kwiecien excellent—Enrico— and that focuses on the complexity of the characters in an atmosphere full of rivalries. Barbara Wysocka proposes a staging focused on the sixties with a Lucia who transits between fragility and weightlessness to reach the paradigm of obsession, which finally becomes madness. The other is Otello de Verdi, based on the work of Shakespeare, with Gregory Kunde, Jorge de León, Carlos Álvarez, Zeljiko Lucic, and Krassimira Stoyanova and Eleonora Buratto. An infallible cast for this production full of lights and shadows by Keith Warner, which again reveals the jealousy of a protagonist obsessed by his naive wife and the lies of Iago, who hatches a strategy to end the love of the two characters. Maestro Riccardo Frizza will direct this classic, which contains one of the largest entries in the history of opera.



In these eight titles that structure the staged operatic season we will also have the successful proposals of David McVicar, Robert Carsen and Laurent Pelly. Three big names in stage direction for three magnificent titles: Traviata Verdi’s with musical direction by Speranza Scappucci and the voices of Kristina Mkhitaryan and Rosa Feola as Violetta, and an obsessive Alfredo played by Pavol Breslik and Dmitry Korchak. This Tannhäuser Wagner has the musical direction of David Afkham, holder of the National Orchestra of Spain, and a magnificent Wagnerian cast led by Stefan Vinke in the main role. A Tannhäuser obsessed with sexuality that seeks its place in the world. David Afkham will play one of the composer’s most mature scores of youth.also stands out Les contes d’Hoffmann Offenbach’s in a proposal that includes the two faces of Romanticism: the dark history and the magic of its reverse. John Osborn and Arturo Chacón-Cruz will put themselves in the shoes of a cursed poet, obsessed with succeeding in love and who evokes the frustrations of his love past with Olympia –Olga Pudova and Rocío Pérez-, Antonia –Ermonela Jaho and Carmela Remigio– and Giulietta –Nino Sugurladze and Ginger Costa-Jackson. Jordan de Souza will be in charge of the musical direction of this latest work, which will be produced by the Gran Teatre del Liceu, as will Don Giovanni, La traviata and Tannhäuser.



In operas in concert version, the Liceu expands its range and program with four proposals in the Great Hall and one in the Foyer. The use of this space is increased in this new stage of the Theater, hosting operas, dance, conferences, chamber music and shows from El Petit Liceu with the clear intention of bringing the shows closer to the public and adapting the needs of small format shows that Due to their characteristics, they require a smaller capacity.


Platée de Jean-Philippe Rameau will be released in Spain under the direction of William Christie and Les Arts Florissants. Platée, the flagship work of the Enlightenment, is a Baroque jewel and also the most joyous page of the composer, who talks obsession about the nymph Platée’swith the love of Jupiter and that will resonate for the first time on the Liceu stage through the voices of Marcel Beekman and Edwin Crossley-Mercer. A 14-year-old Mozart composes Mitridate, re di Ponto, which can be seen at the Liceu directed by Marc Minkowski. In this piece, the composer exposes in a bare and subtle way the obsessions, weaknesses and insecurities of the protagonist, Mitridate, with the voices of Pene Pati, Elsa Dreisig, Julie Fuchs or Jakub Józef Orlinski. This opera, which will be performed in a concert version, bitterly portrays the harshness in the transmission of power, parent-child relations and pardon.


During the 2020/21 season there will also be space for musical theater, specifically with a semi-staged version of My Fair Lady, which will be seen for the first time in Barcelona, in this case directed by Alfonso Casado Trigo, specialist in the genre. Considered the “perfect musical,” its composer Frederik Loewe puts music to the story of Eliza, a Covent Garden florist who begins to take classes from the phonetician Professor Henry Higgins, who becomes obsessed with the dream of making her a true and elegant lady of London high society.


Also in concert version we can enjoy a unique treasure that the Liceu has decided to recover in its quest to enhance the Catalan musical heritage. It is La principessa philosofa, an opera by the “Catalan Mozart” Carles Baguer premiered at Teatre de la Santa Creu in 1797 and performed only five times. This time it will be the ESMUC students, directed by Marzio Conti, who will bring the restoration of this love comedy between the Count of Urgell and Diana, the heir to the Count of Barcelona, ​​who, despite not accepting suitors, will end up hopelessly in love with root of the count’s game.



Dance will have a prominent place in the Liceu’s program, which will offer three ballets, two first-rate international proposals with the participation of the Liceu Symphony Orchestra and one of the most relevant voices in national dance. Eifman Ballet returns to the Liceu after falling in love with the public with Anna Karenina, and does so with another contemporary and poetic version of a classic, this time Onegin by Pushkin. One of the most prominent names in dance in Spain, the company Blanca Li, debuts at the Liceu with Solstice, a show with 14 dancers and a percussionist who celebrates beauty, power and energy out of concern for degradation of the nature. A concern transformed into obsession and expressed in dance and gesture. The latest show comes from the Czech National Ballet with Swan Lake, paradigm of classical dance and mythical romantic and timeless love story based on the original work of Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov. A love marked by the spell of the magician Rothbart, who, obsessed with Siegfried, stands between the prince and Odette.



Next season, the Gran Teatre del Liceu bets on contemporary drama by Òpera de Butxaca i Nova Creació (OBNC) with the premiere of the show Sis Solos Soles, a project that presents, in a single evening, six monodramas for female performer and instrumentalist, commissioned to six different teams of librettist and composer. Walking through the bowels of the theater, the viewer will come into contact with the stories of a series of voices trapped in domestic settings, as if it were an intimate confession.



Next season, the Gran Teatre del Liceu will continue to be a benchmark for great international voices and will have the honor of receiving leading opera figures, such as Sondra Radvanovsky, in a very special concert where she will face the greats scenes from the three Elizabethan queens: the proud Maria Stuarda, the passionate Ana Bolena and the powerful Isabel I. The audience at the Liceu can also enjoy another of the great divas of our time, the soprano Anna Netrebko, in an intimate and delicious recital that invites you to explore the poetic intensity of day and night, seen by different composers.



The 2020/21 season will be a challenge for the Liceu Symphony Orchestra, which will be able to demonstrate its current good health thanks to the firm commitment of the Theater to increase symphonic activity. This adventure will be led by the musical director Josep Pons, who The season will begin with a journey through the sound world of Iberia with De Carmen Amaya to Estrella Morente, a collection of extraordinary moments in which the creators have set out to write for dance. Creators as relevant as Gerhard (Alegrías) —in the commemorations of the fiftieth anniversary of his death—, Guinjoan (Tribute to Carmen Amaya) and De Falla (The Three-Cornered Hat and El amor brujo), accompanied by the voice of Estrella Morente. The other great symphony event of the season will be framed in the Pau Casals Memorial and will allow you to enjoy three quintessential dance masterpieces, scores that were commissioned by Sergei Diaghilev to Igor Stravinsky for his Russian Ballets (The Firebird, Petrushka and The Rite of Spring). This concert is part of the Pau Casals Memorial on the occasion of the centenary of the Pau Casals Orchestra, conducted on different occasions by Igor Stravinsky at the Liceu.


Continuing with dance as the backbone, the Theater has asked David Afkham, head of the National Orchestra of Spain,while he is immersed in the functions of Tannhäuser to direct Romeo and Juliet by Prokofiev, a symphonic program that delves into the world of dance along with works by Strauss and Ravel.


In the symphonic field, one of the most appreciated batons by the Liceu’s public, Jordi Savall, will return with Le Concert des Nations to conduct the last two symphonies of Beethoven, the Eighth and the Ninth, which will conclude the 250th anniversary of the composer’s birth . Chamber music also will continued during the 2020/21 season with two concerts LiceuClàssic and Liceu Brass Ensemble, and with the involvement of the museum, which will house several chamber ensembles emerged from the Orchestra of the Liceu. In this sense, the Liceu continues to enhance the presence of the Orchestra beyond the Theater, and will visit the Palau de la Música Catalana within its Palau 100 cycle, as well as throughout Catalan territory, specifically in Reus, Lleida and Girona, where he will take a program made up of the “Jupiter” and the “Pathetic” directed by the prestigious French conductor and founder of Les Musiciens du Louvre Marc Minkowski.



The objective of the Gran Teatre de Liceu is not only to entertain, participate in the game and enjoy, but also to propose a program and a series of complementary activities that, as a whole, are an invitation to think and grow. In short, the Liceu will be a center of the arts and thought where the main subject will be the opera, but where other disciplines will also converge, such as the visual arts, anthropology, philosophy, poetry, science, technology. .. always taking into account the common thread of the obsession as structuring of internal coherence. Thus, the season will have six voices, six protagonists who will be, at the same time, speakers to intensely develop the season’s discourse: Chiharu Shiota, Louise Bourgeois and Laia Abril (visual artists), Luis Rojas Marcos (psychiatrist), Joan Margarit (poet) and Nuccio Ordine (philosopher). All of them will make the program of activities flourish with verses, exhibitions, samples, reflections, texts and conferences.


A good example of this is the collaboration with the Berlin-based Japanese artist Chiharu Shiota, guest artist of the season who is preparing an installation in the Hall of Mirrors to dialogue in communion with the musical measures Winterreise of Schubert’s. In addition, the artist has yielded more than 15 pieces to create the image of the new season. Precisely coinciding with his work, on January 17, 2021 the Liceu will organize the conference Liceu Center d’Arts, in which a series of invited artists will help us reflect on the obsession through installations, exhibitions, workshops, visits with the artists … Following this same line, the Liceu will organize series of conferences and conversations with great thinkers such as Rafael Argullol, Joan Margarit or George Benjamin, among others; exhibitions by renowned artists such as Shiota herself, Louise Bourgeois or Laia Abril; as well as audition sessions commented by Víctor Garcia de Gomar and Pol Avinyó. Other voices to expand enjoyment and deepen the concept of obsession.



With the arrival of good weather, the Gran Teatre del Liceu not only launches a new project but also enables a unique outdoor space: the terrace. Liceu Vermut will be live music sessions in which prominent interpreters from the country will offer their works and reserve the final part of their recital for a series of improvisations around the opera. While enjoying a vermouth the arias and the most popular themes of the universal lyric will pass through the aesthetic gaze of these great musicians, such as Chicuelo, Raül Fernández ‘Refree’ and Hidrogenesse.



In order to adapt to the current moment and highlighting the Teatre’s commitment to education and the growth of people, the new educational service LiceuAprèn is developed. A global pedagogical program that seeks to innovate in the creation of El Petit Liceu and Liceu Jove shows, and to promote a wide and varied training offer, both in terms of content and the audience it is aimed at. Within this framework, the Liceu premieres two shows that, due to the coronavirus crisis, have had to be carried over to the 2020/21 season: The Monster in the Labyrinth and La Barcarola.


Maintaining the confluence of the new creation with the training program and the collaborative aspect, this season the monster in the labyrinth was born, which, despite the successful participation this year, could not be represented due to the COVID crisis -19, but it will be released during the 2020/21 season. The collective and choral opera by Jonathan Dove, directed stage by Paco Azorín and musically by Manel Valdivieso, is the result of the creative process of 800 young singers from more than 20 educational centers in Barcelona and Catalonia, with the participation of the Conservatori del Liceu’s orchestra and music and performing arts professionals. A 360 ° opera that uses the stage and the seating area to generate an immersive experience around the myth of Theseus and the Minotaur, referring to the current reality of refugees.


The other new show scheduled for the current season and which must postpone its premiere for the 2020/21 season is La Barcarola by Juan Pablo Mendiola, a proposal that can be seen at the Foyer and that not only plays with the musical part but also incorporates other arts, such as scenography, acting, or the visual arts. This show focuses on the initial growth stage of the child, from 3 to 5 years old.


The Petit Liceu is completed this season with a total of eight shows and continues to bet on the most acclaimed productions by the family audience, such as Els musics de Bremen by Poire Vallvé, La petita flauta màgica and Allegro Vivace by Joan Font (Comediants). Another expected return during the Christmas season will be The Christmas Carol, which, for the fourth consecutive year, will invade the Theater with the Christmas spirit of Charles Dickens, the music of Albert Guinovart, the sand art of Borja González, the Liceu Symphony Orchestra , the VEUS – Cor Infantil Amics de la Unió group and the vocal soloists. The Liceu continues to maintain its commitment to IT Dansa, the young company of the Institut del Teatre under the direction of Catherine Allard, who will present four choreographies at the Teatre-Auditori Sant Cugat: Kaash, The prom, In memoriam and Whim Fractured Fairytale.



The Liceu wants to be a cultural institution of reference in the inclusion of groups in vulnerable situations and in the development of programs, activities and services to bring opera closer to people with functional diversity, disability or vulnerability, promoting values ​​such as equity or the excellence. Based on this will, the social program is developed LiceuApropa, which has been reformulated with a clearer and simpler structure in which the user is the protagonist. The new program includes many of the activities that the Theater already offered paying attention to diversity, and incorporates others developed in recent years. One of these novelties is the newly created community opera project that the Liceu is preparing with the residents of the Raval neighborhood of Barcelona. Integrated into the community production line Opera Prima (premiere in November 2021), it will feature the drama by Victoria Spunzberg, the composition by Arnau Tordera, the stage direction by Ricard Soler and the music direction by Alfons Reverté, and with the participation of associations, institutions, neighborhood groups, and a great representation of the social fabric of the Raval neighborhood. This ambitious community project will start this season and will end in the 2021/22 season.



The Liceu maintains its commitment to young audiences with the initiative Liceu Under 35, which in the 2020/21 season will offer three special sessions by Don Giovanni (October 22), La traviata (December 7) and Solstice (February 8) ). El Teatre will continue to increase this youth pricing policy with Under 35 rates for all titles, which in the 2019/20 season achieved fantastic results until March, reaching almost 5,500 tickets sold since the opening with Turandot. In addition to the specific rates for the Under 35 public, more than 4,000 people have attended the Liceu this season, benefiting from other rates and discounts for young people and students (Youth Card, Scene 25 and Quadern Cultura programs, rates for groups of schools, institutes, etc.).


This season, and as a novelty, the Liceu launches a subscription of 3 titles called Liceu under35 +1, exclusively for those young people who, thanks to the pricing and programming policies of the Liceu Under35 program, have entered the world of opera. It is a subscription of 3 titles at 50% discount.



Season 19/20 subscribers will be able to renew their subscription, and also their seat, for the 20/21 season. If in any case the current regulations force you to make a change of seat and row, you will contract with the subscriber and you will be notified at least one month in advance of your relocation, which will ensure that it corresponds to the same area as your subscription. Likewise, and taking into account that some subscribers still live with uncertainty in the first months of the new season, subscribers will be allowed to resign with a maximum of 15 days in advance of the titles between the months of October and December. Unsubscribe from the subscription can be made until September 4, and no collection of the subscription will be made until September 20.


Season 19/20 season ticket holders will be able to purchase preferential seats for extraordinary concerts —Recital by Sondra Radvanovsky and Piotr Beczala, Il trovatore VC and Recital by Anna Netrebko— from June 29 and with the usual discount of 20 %, as Liceu subscribers, for the acquisition of additional functions to the subscription itself. Some of the subscriptions have decreased by one function due to the cancellations of the initially scheduled operas, a transitory situation that will return to normal next season 2021/22.


Unlike in previous years, the new subscriptions can be reserved from June 17 through, filling in a form in which you can indicate the preference in the type of subscription and area. In September, when the possible restrictions on the capacity of the functions are clear, all applicants for new subscriptions will be contacted to personally manage the request. With this policy of acquiring new subscriptions, the Liceu wants, on the one hand, to reduce as much as possible the uncertainties regarding the acquisition of subscriptions and ticket sales, but at the same time it wants to attend to all requests from new subscribers for this 20/21 season.


As for the locations, the Gran Teatre del Liceu maintains the same price policy as the previous season. Likewise, the general sale of seats will begin – during this new season – one month and one week before each premiere, so that there will be flexibility in adapting the capacity depending on the limitations of the moment. For example, in the case of Don Giovanni, tickets will go on sale on September 17 and the first week, subscribers will have preferential sales. An unpaid person can purchase the ticket from September 24.



During the month of May the Liceu carried out a survey aimed at subscribers and the general public to find out their perception when returning to the Theater, under what conditions they would feel safer, and with what security measures and protocols . In general, more than 70% of the subscribers and 50% of the sporadic public surveyed showed a clear intention to return to the Theater as soon as its doors open. Less than 3% stated that they would not return to the Theater for a long period, as it is a risk group, but their opinion could change if the health situation was fully controlled. The Liceu is working to be a safe space in which to enjoy the opera, adopting the measures, protocols and regulations in force at all times.



The health crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has forced the Liceu to make changes and postponements also in several titles of the 2020/21 season. These changes are mainly derived from calendar changes or budget adjustments. Thus, in future seasons we will be able to continue enjoying titles such as Eugene Onegin by Chaikovski, a new production by the Gran Teatre del Liceu with Den Norske Opera (Oslo) and the Teatro Real de Madrid, under the stage direction of Christof Loy; or also from Dialogues de Carmélites de Poulenc, which, after being represented only three times in the 1958/59 season, will return in a production of the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées directed stage by Oliver Py and under the baton of Josep Pons. A jewel of Catalan heritage such as also be postponed The Night of Saint John (Soirées de Barcelone) will Robert Gerhard’s, the second creation by the composer of Valls designed for the Ballets de Montecarlo, but never released, and of which the choreographer Antonio Ruz has done his reading in a co-production of the Liceu and the Fundación Juan March. The two concerts of the Monteverdi madrigals, under the direction of Rinaldo Alessandrini, scheduled at the Foyer, will also be postponed to future seasons. As for LiceuAprèn, the Miralls show, produced by the Liceu led by its creator Miquel Gené and with stage direction by Quim Serra (Factoria Mascaró), will premiere during the 2021/22 season.

Download the 2020-2021 Season of Gran Teatre del Liceu here